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Racing Roundup: Canadian Nissan Micra Cup driver to race Sebastian Vettel; Rogers wont sell me MAVTV; Cory Turner leads Canadian contingent at Chili Bowl Nationals; why Carl Edwards retired

It’s age-old: who was better, Roy Rogers or Gene Autry? Gordie Howe or Rocket Richard? An Indy car driver or a NASCAR stock car racer?Over the years, there have been several attempts to create either a series of races or one-offs that would pit race drivers from around the world to race against each other in identical cars in order to determine who – and what discipline – was the best.Back in the early 1970s, starting at the Riverside International Racway road course in California in the late autumn and concluding the following February at the Daytona International Speedway oval, the International Race of Champions was a series of six races featuring drivers from F1, Indy cars, NASCAR and sports cars.The first year, in 1973, 12 star pilots participated including Emmerson Fittipaldi and Denny Hulme from F1, A.J. Foyt and Bobby Unser from Indy cars, Richard Petty and Bobby Allison from NASCAR and so-on. They raced identical Porsche Carrera RSRs and the first champion was sports car star Mark Donohue.Over the years, the cars changed and the series changed to one that was raced on ovals, only. The F1 and road racers lost interest – helped in their decision, no doubt, by their insurance carriers – and the IROC series eventually petered out.Article Continued BelowLately, it’s been replaced by something called the Race of Champions, which is similar in that drivers from all types of racing are still invited to go up against each other in identical cars but different in that the format has changed. The racers now face off against each other in elimination competition (the winner gets to continue racing, the loser gets to go home), there are only two cars on a track inside a stadium at the same time, and the whole thing – practice and racing – is over in two days.Oh, and it’s safer.In addition to declaring which of the many drivers is the best of the best, the Race of Champions Nations Cup is also up for grabs.

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